Exports growth positive as imports decline

Kabelo Adamson

Botswana’s exports value increased in December from the previous month according to the latest data provided by Statistics Botswana.

During the month of December 2019, Botswana’s exports were valued at P5.8 billion which is an increase of 22.2 percent from the revised November value of P4.7 billion.

The increase in the value of exports is attributed to the rise in diamond exports during the month which went up by 25.8 percent or P1.1 billion.

However, year-on-year, the value of exports is lower as in December 2018; the country’s total exports were valued at P7.2 billion.

This decline is reportedly due to the decrease in almost all commodity groups, except plastic and plastic products.

Although diamonds were the main contributor to the rise in exports value during December 2019, the commodity fared badly on a yearly basis between December 2018 and December 2019.

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The mineral contribution value to total exports fell by 20 percent, from P6.7 billion in December 2018, to P5.4 billion last December.

While the value of exports went up during the last month of 2019, it was also a similar case for imports whose value increased by 35.2 percent during the same month.

During the same month last year, the value imports amounted to P6.2 billion a 14.6 percent decline over the revised November 2019 value of P7.3 billion.

The decrease is too attributed to diamond imports which fell by 29.4 percent.

Another notable decline in imports is that of vehicles and transport equipment which fell by a massive 56.8 percent, from P1 billion in November to P436.7 million in December.

The value of imports grew by P1.6 billion, from P4.6 billion during December 2018 to P6.2 billion which was recorded in December last year.

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Just like exports, the surge in the value of imports during the same month is attributed to diamond imports, having increased more than three times, from the December 2018 figure of P370.2 million to P1.6 billion in December last year.

During December 2019, the bulk of the country exports were destined to Asia, with the continent receiving 63 percent of total exports.

India and the United Arab Emirates were the main receiver of these exports within this region 30.8 percent and 16.9 percent of total exports goods respectively.

The main exports commodity destined to Asia was diamonds which accounted for 99.8 percent of total exports goods destined to the continent.

Regarding imports, during the period under review, Botswana sourced most of its imports from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) region.

The region supplied the country with imports valued at P4.4 billion, representing 71.4 percent of total imports into the country during the same month.

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The most imported commodity from SACU was fuel, accounting for 22.1 percent of imports from this region followed by food, beverages and tobacco with 17.5 percent of imports.

A majority of these imports sourced from SACU region were mostly from South Africa contributing 64.4 percent of total imports from the region and commodities sourced from this country were mostly fuel; food, beverages and tobacco.

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